Definitely a strange workout this morning. I don’t know if it’s the cumulative effects of sleeping poorly on an old mattress, a rainy Friday funk, the fact that it seems to be my turn with the mild chest infection floating through our home, the fact that today’s METCON appears to have exploited every weakness in my fitness or any combination of the above, but I’m really disappointed in how that METCON went today.

All right, let’s put things in order here, because it wasn’t all bad news.

The warm up with Coach Stew should have been an indication of the trouble to come during the METCON. At his direction, we grabbed kettle bells-I grabbed a 35lb bell- and went through a 5 minute work out of alternating mountain climber push ups and kettle bell swings. Both exercises started at 10 reps For each subsequent set, mountain climber pushup descended by one rep. The kettle bell swings (Russian, eye-level) climbed by 1 rep each set. No one in the group got through the stated goal of getting to 20 kettle bell swings in the time allotted. I think I got through 14 kettle bell swings before Coach called time. My breathing was raspy and my shoulders were creaky through the whole warm up and I was in the sort of mood where I would have been perfectly satisfied to call that a WOD and walk away. But there was more fun to come.

Strength Segment:
Back Squat
2-2-2-2-2

I was pleased with this portion of my workout. I did sets of 115, 135, 145, 165, and 175. The 175 bests my old PR for this lift by 20lbs. I’m reasonably sure that there’s more there for the having too. My technique felt good. I really enjoy Coach Stew’s training and guidance as we lift. His expertise on anatomy and its roll in simple physics and mechanics is a real asset as a coach. He’s got a way of really breaking down an exercise and explaining the mechanics and the impact on your body that just works for me. It really helps me understand why each element of a lift is important.

He watched my lift at 165 and noted that my right knee was tracking inward instead of out. He pointed out that it could be an attempt to “load” up on my left side in a subconscious effort to assist my weak side. In hindsight, I think it’s more a subconscious effort to move the load off my right hip which has been a bit hinky for a while. Regardless, when I paid attention to staying back on my heels and keeping my knees out, the 175 lifts felt really solid and leave me thinking I can get a bit more out of those lifts.

Then we went to the METCON and I came apart.

–Rest–
On the minute for 12 minutes:
15 Shoulder to Overhead (75/55)
AMRAP Burpee Box Jumps (in the time remaining)

The 15 shoulder to overhead basically meant you could use any lift, or combination of lifts (press, push press, push jerk, etc) within a set to keep the bar in motion quickly and get the 15 reps in and get on to the Burpee box jumps. I started with the bar RX. That was an arrogant choice.

My simple logic was, “well, I used a 75lb bar for FGB6 last weekend. I should be able to handle it.” If I’d checked my journal last night, I’d have realized that by the third round of FGB6, I wasn’t getting anything NEAR 15 reps a minute. There was no reason to believe I could do it less than a week later. A little pre-workout scouting would have gone a long way.

So anyway, first round I got the 15 reps shoulder to overhead, then got in half a dozen burpee box jumps. I got through the second set of overheads, with enough time for 2 box jumps.  Then I melted like butter on a hot skillet. I couldn’t get the 15 reps in minute three. So I spent minute 4 stripping the plates off the bar and sulking. I hammered out the 15 overhead reps during the 5th minute mostly using a push press, but my breathing was ragged and shallow. In returning the bare bar to the floor, the gym started to spin, so I rested the balance of that minute. In the 6th minute I got the over head reps in using every lift I could think of but there was no time for box jumps. Essentially, that’s the way I floundered for the rest of the METCON. I salvaged enough time to get in four more burpee box jumps over the last 4 minutes for a total of 12!

Mostly, I’m pissed at how I responded mentally. Somewhere very early in that METCON, my brain went, “Oh, I’m F#*#*#D!” And instead of trying to figure out how to get through it, I just whined in my head. “Oh this sucks. Oh God, this hurts.”  Next time I hit a METCON that’s not going my way, I need to remember to be flexible and roll with the change. Don’t get pissy about having to scale back on the fly. Just adapt and overcome.

For what it’s worth, it looked like a tough METCON for much of the 6:15 crew. I saw at least two other people either strip or switch to lighter bare bars over the course of the METCON. The other consolation is that I didn’t actually completely quit and walk away from the WOD. That thought went through my head in the 4th minute as I was stripping the bar down. That’s the first time I’ve ever honestly enterained the notion of quitting a WOD. But at least I overcame that temptation. THE SUCK definitely won today. It’s been a while though. Next time, keep my head in the game and keep a positive attitude.

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